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Glen Forrest parents Evini Herzfeld, Sarah van der Roest and Dr Jean Byrne outside the fencing where the court was supposed to be built. Photo: Sally McGlew

Court bounced to different location

By Sally McGlew

AFTER waiting ten years for a basketball half-court in Glen Forrest’s Morgan John Morgan Reserve, parents of teenagers in Glen Forrest said they feel like the concrete has been ripped out from under them after a neighbour complained about the proposal, saying the noise would be unbearable.

Parents of local youth said they were shocked to learn after an extensive consultative process, their half-court basketball concrete pour was being replaced with a hopscotch court without a ring or backboard.

President of the Glen Forrest Residents and Ratepayers Association (GFRRA) Sharon Hill said they were disappointed that none of the upgrades in the park now provided facilities for young people.

“What is disappointing is the Shire has not undertaken an objective noise assessment to determine if this will actually be the case,” she said.

“There does not appear to be any objective or measurable criteria that the Shire uses to determine the strength of the complaint.”

Last year Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt offered the Shire of Mundaring $200,000 of Federal funding to help shape the future development of Morgan John Morgan Reserve.

“We could finally access the basketball court we had been promised for 10 years,” Dr Jean Byrne, a resident and mother of teenagers said.

Shire Infrastructure Services director Shane Purdy said the location for the basketball half-court had been revised.

“Installation is planned to proceed during 2021/22,” he said.

“The location for the half basketball court has simply changed.”

The basketball court will now be constructed at Burkinshaw Oval.

Shire of Mundaring chief executive Jonathon Throssel and Mr Purdy met with the GFRRA members at the site for the original proposed half-court on Monday.

Mrs Hill said at the meeting the Shire of Mundaring would not budge on their backflip decision to remove the basketball court from the reserve.

Dr Byrne said she was disappointed to learn the idea had been quashed and changed without public consultation.

“We went through two extensive community consultation processes and once again the youth in this community are being unsupported and disenfranchised.”

The parents asked author and educator Maggie Dent to send a video message to the shire officers.

In the video Mrs Dent said “please engage your children and your youth because we have an epidemic of anxiety and poor mental health outcomes for children particularly in the digital world”.

Mr Purdy said the proposal had not been abandoned and the outcomes of the community consultation had not been ignored.

He said the move away from installing a half basketball court at Morgan John Morgan Reserve, with relocation to Burkinshaw Park was discussed with members of the GFRRA in May.

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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